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  • Page 9 of 13 FirstFirst ... 6789101112 ... LastLast
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    Thread: "Pond"ering

    1. #161
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      Thanks everyone for reading this thread. We have now had 10,000 views, and winter is not over! More later.
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    2. #162
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      After two days of rain, I am water logged! But all of the rain has also come with warmer temps and some early signs of spring are starting to show up. This has warmed up my thoughts and my anxieties for spring! The daffodils are blooming, and trees are budding. Looking at the pond plants today I saw new leaves on some marginal plants, and some baby lettuce plants floating in the lettuce pond. "Spring must be round the corner," I thought.
      A few weeks ago we saw some frogs in one of the greenhouse ponds that had decided to winter in the greenhouse instead of hibernating. A couple of nights go when I came out to the greenhouse I heard the croaking of frogs, and I realized that spring was in the air. The frogs sounded like they were all in the greenhouse, but I heard three singing. No exactly a sign of spring because they were in the greenhouse. Tuesday night, however, my heart started beating faster as I heard the croaking of frogs from outside the greenhouse! Spring is in the air in the greenhouse and outside the greenhouse!
      The Green Goddess calla lily was blooming again today, reminding me of why I like the calla lily plants. Although not an actual pond plant, calla lilies enjoy wet feet and can be used in landscaping of the pond for their beautiful blooms.
      May your "pond"ering day dreams grow bigger and brighter each day as we march toward spring!
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    3. #163
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      My friend the frog was waiting for me today in almost the same place he was two days ago when I took his pic. Maybe he was pondering spring like I am. I noticed today his sides and his coloring is impressive. I will have to research him and see what kind of frog he is. Maybe someone here knows what type he is.
      I saw 5 frogs today in the gh but only the same two let me take pics. They seem to be used to me coming round because they just sat there as I moved around them.
      Also, the female mosquito fish I mentioned earlier is just getting bigger. She is huge! My last pics were almost a month ago, and still no babies, but she keeps getting bigger. Has not hurt her appetite. The picture from above shows here eating. The other is a side pic.
      So these are the things I pondered today. Not much, but it was such a pretty day, 81 and sunny, that I could not dream of spring, I felt like I was in the spring!
      Counting the days, but until then, I'm "pond"ering!
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    4. #164
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      If your day today was like mine, you are walking on air! We have had two sunny, warm days in a row! We are due to have thunderstorms move in tonight and rain for the next two days, but the last two days have been fantastic, especially for February! I have had spring on my mind all day as I kept thinking about how that before long we will have weeks at a time like today!
      One of the things we have worked on for the last two days is to develop an updated hardy lily inventory. Going through the tubs, pulling up pots and counting the divisions in each pot takes time, but is needed to see how things are going. As I did this, I kept thinking about how I also need to organize the hardy tubs again since I have acquired more varieties. If they are planted without some order, it is hard to find plants when someone wants one. Many of the tubs, which are labeled and contain only one variety of lily, had plants that had grown out of their pots and grown together with other pots in the tub. Those were cut apart and all plant pots were cleaned up. my back was sure sore at the end of each day after bending over all day, lifting out plants and cleaning and returning the pot to the tub. I have been pondering ways to do it easier, but have not thought of a better way as yet. I do have a short stool to sit on, and another one to set the pot on while working it, but still have to bend over to get the pot out of the tub and put it back in. If I only had a few it would not be as hard, but there are over 200 so it can be rather back exhausting!
      The hardy lilies are starting to send up floating pads. The "cool weather" colors are beautiful as they look like autumn's oranges and dark reds of leaves. They will be their normal colors soon enough, but in the meantime I enjoy these spring promises! I think about all of you other ponders who are also enjoying their ponds coming to life. It won't be long before we will be feeding our koi again as their appetite returns and they will be ferociously attacking their food.
      Enjoy your "pond"ering and the warm thoughts you find as you gaze at your pond's resurrection!
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    5. #165
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      Today's "pond"ering centered primarily on studying the inventory sheets, and posting some plants for sale. I kept thinking that this is early, but I am already having orders come in so maybe it is not so early after all. Besides, it was raining today and even when it was not raining everything was muddy, so it was good day to do work on the computer.
      I mentioned in my last post about the hardy lilies putting up floating pads and their having fall colors. This is because they are lacking chlorophyll at this time. As I looked at the pics that I took today, I had to chuckle at the first picture because the bottom four pads in it reminded me of the "pacman' game, with the little ball like creature trying to gobble up the enemies. The wide sinuses in the pic really look like they are trying to 'gobble up" each other.
      Yesterday also brought a "first" for me. As I pulled pots out of the tubs and cleaned plants, I came across a pot that had a creature that I had never seen in an immersed lily pot before. When I pulled the pot up and cleaned off the plant a bit, I found a red earthworm in it wrapped around in the soil. not only was there an earthworm there, it was alive. With hundreds of pots each year, I have never found a live earthworm in a submerged pot before. I did not know that an earthworm could survive like that, but I do now!
      "Pond"er on!
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      Last edited by matherfish; 03-02-2018 at 02:17 AM.
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    6. #166
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      "Pond"ering today has been great because the weather has been great! I have not been able to work outside because of other things, but I have definitely enjoyed the nice weather. We have had some wind, but not near as much as what I have heard is on the east coast and the northeast. Spring will be here in a few weeks.
      As we think about spring we can start thinking of how to label our named plants. In the past I have used sections of venetian blind slats and wrote the name of the plant on it with a permanent marker. Unfortunately, sometimes the ink faded and then the identity was gone. I have learned to use Sharpie markers because the ink lasts longer, and is more rain and sun resistant than the other brands that I have tried. I have also put the names on tags, placed them in a baggie and put them in the bottom of the pot to identify the plant. The problem with this method is you have to dig the plant up, dump the soil out to see the name. It is a good back up, however.
      This year I am trying something new. I am still writing the name on the venetian blind "sticks" with the Sharpie permanent markers, but I am then sealing the ink in clear plastic tape. But not just any clear tape, such as packing tape. I am using a clear vinyl tape made by Frost King for weather sealing your windows and doors. I have used it to patch any tears in my greenhouse plastic and it holds well, lasts well, and remains clear. Using this tape to cover the end of the stick where the name is written should save having to go over the writing every 6 months or so.
      Always searching for better ideas to improve my ponding so I keep on "pond"ering!
      Last edited by matherfish; 03-03-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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    7. #167
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      Another rainy day, but still a good day to work in the greenhouse on plants. My thoughts as we started getting early orders ready was on things I could do to help provide plants early despite the cold. I have already cleaned up the hardy lilies and divided some of them, so now the ones ordered early have been transplanted for growth in the greenhouse shallow ponds. We have put fertilizers in their pots but what else could be done? The greenhouse is warmer than outside, so they will remain warmer even next week when the temperatures will be cooler. I then thought about a liquid fertilizer that I have put on plants in the past that has made a big difference in their growth when sprayed on the leaves. It can also be put into the soil of land plants. I thought about this. I know that several years ago I had lots of hanging baskets in my greenhouse (we had a garden center) and ponds beneath them. We sprayed the hanging baskets with the fertilizer but part of the spray landed in the pond below, which was full of hyacinths. The hyacinths grew fantastic that year.
      As I considered this, many memories ran through my mind. I decided to spray the few floating pads on the lilies, as well as spray the plants in the pond, so that all of the lilies would be fertilized, not just the few with floating pads. This should stimulate the plants even more, now that daylight is longer and they are warmer.
      I also decided to check the tropical tubers for sprouting since some of the order included these plants as well. I had looked into one of the buckets a few weeks ago, but saw nothing. Today, looking through a few buckets I found several tubers that had started sprouting. We pulled out the tubers to fill the order, and put them in plastic baggies. The baggies were placed in a plastic crate and put into a shallow pond. They had been in dark buckets, but now in the light of the sun and warmth, they should also start growing faster.
      Happy "pond"ering!
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    8. #168
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      Looking at the calendar, and with pretty weather forecasted for the last few days, I began to think about the lotuses. With spring in mind, the last few days have been busy with the start of dividing of the lotuses. I started a little later this year, as our weather has been colder. Last year at this time the lotuses were already starting to shoot up leaf stems and so by now I was behind. There were no new shoots showing yet, so this was a good time to start.
      Last year we divided the bulk of the lotus tubs, leaving only 11 tubs that had not been divided since 2016. These 11 tubs were the focus of our work this week. As I started dumping the first pot, I became concerned. In recent past years, we have had colder temps than this year, but not for long periods of time. This year we had a period of a little over two weeks where the ponds had ice covering the ponds. Looking at the tubers, I began to think about this.
      For many years I would bring the lotus tubs into the greenhouse for the winter where they would stay until spring. This kept them safe from freezing, but it also caused them to sprout early. I decided to leave them outside over winter, with a plastic cover over them. They were basically in a cold frame. This had worked for the last 5 or 6 years. Looking at the first tubers of this year, I began to rethink my decisions.
      The first pot was not totally dead, but the tubers did not look really vigorous. They were not all gray or black. There were some white tubers to provide hope for life. The second tub brought about the same concern, but this time the tub was not as bad. There was perhaps reasons for greater hope. The next nine tubs delivered the same conclusions. There appears to be some potentially living tubers in each tub that should produce plants, but no guarantees.
      The freshly divided tubers were brought into the greenhouse. This should keep them warmer than outside (good thing because it got down to 30 last night) and since they are just in water the tubers are exposed to direct sunlight. The result should be faster sprouting. Also by moving them inside I will know quicker as to whether or not the tubers are viable. Depending on what happens with these 11 tubs, I then will have an idea as to what to expect out of the other 50+ tubs. Obviously, I will be watching them anxiously.
      Maybe I am overthinking. Time will tell. Happy "pond"ering!
      Last edited by matherfish; 03-08-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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    9. #169
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      Are you thinking what I have been thinking? I am tired of having three pretty days followed by three days of rain or cold! I am thankful for the warm sunny days but am ready for spring! Well, the next three days it will be down in the 20s at night, so I am now thinking that I want at least the three day of warm to follow.
      Pondering the ponds has brought me many lessons. Many of us have had the experience of filling our ponds after cleaning them or of toping off our ponds when they have evaporated. Most of us have also had the experience of forgetting to cut the water off, often ending in the loss of our fish. Once done, it cannot be undone no matter how upsetting it is. Recently I heard of a similar event, but not involving a pond, however. It still made me think of ponds!
      A preacher friend of mine was not feeling well one Sunday so the members of the small church where he preached told him that he needed to go home and go to bed and they would cancel services that Sunday night. He agreed with them, but mentioned that he had cut the water on to fill the baptistery as it was low so he needed to wait a few minutes to cut it off. while waiting to cut the water off, several things distracted him (don't they always?) and after a little while he began feeling worse, and headed home. The following Sunday, when he came to the church building and opened the door, there was about a quarter inch of water throughout the auditorium and the building. no telling how much had run out under doors, etc. The water bill alone that month alone that month was over $800! So it is not just ponders who get distracted and forget to cut the water off!
      Happy "pond"ering!
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    10. #170
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      Cindy has announced that it is time for the lotus seed "grow out" for 2018. This gives ponders a chance to start raise a lotus from seed by providing entrants with lotus seeds for free to plant. Prizes are given in several categories. This makes it fun, challenging and rewarding. Even if you do not win a prize, you still get the experience of trying to raise a lotus from seed, and you could end up with a beautiful lotus.
      This gave me thoughts to ponder. From time to time members have posted details about how to raise a lotus from seed, but you have to look it up and piece together the information, from what I remember. Maybe this is a good time to give some brief idea as to how to raise a plant from seed.
      First of all, it is important to start with a good seed. I look for a nice plump seed that is gray in color. A seed that is shriveled like a raison or slender in form is usually not viable. There may be one that has sprouted like that, but I have never heard of one.
      I also do a "water test" on the seeds. Seeds that float are also generally not viable. You may not want to throw floaters away, but they most likely are not going to sprout. If you have access to several seeds, you would be better off spending your time on seeds that sink when placed in water.
      The next step is to score or nick the seed. The purpose of this is to help the sprout escape out of the seed's outer covering. This can be done in different ways, but I think the most common way is to use a metal file and to file the outer covering from the seed down to just below the shell. This should be a cream/pale yellow color. Once you see this, quit filing. You do not want to go too deep.
      After scoring the seed, place the seed in water. The water temperature should ideally be 70f-80f degrees. This does mean seeds will not sprout above or below these temps, but the seeds do best in these temperatures. It is best if you do a water change daily, or every other day to help keep algae from starting to grow in the water and on the seed. Once done, the wait begins.
      In a few days, you will see the seeds starting to sprout. A little green spot will show on the seed. Now the fun begins!
      As I think about growing a lotus from seed I have thoughts about how they start from seed in the wild. I start wondering about how many seeds the plants must produce for one seed to germinate and grow. No nicking, no perfect surroundings, and no perfect conditions. When you think about that, you must come to the conclusion that we are blessed to have lotuses!
      More thoughts on growing lotus plants from seeds in my next post, as we continue thinking about this great hobby!
      Happy ponding!
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    11. #171
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      "Pond"ering the lotus grow out again today brings me to finish this "mini" version of growing lotus from seeds. Again, I am reminded of the fact that people's experiences will differ, just as people are different. We all have different temperatures, lighting, soils, care, etc. and all of these are factors in our growing experience. The seeds are different as well, even if coming from the same source and plants. All seeds afford the same hope of success, but circumstances bring about various results. Even then, we hope that all of us have the same final result in obtaining a fantastic lotus.
      Today, I want to continue my discourse on growing a lotus from seed.
      After your seed has sprouted, continue to do the water changes and continue to keep the seeds in an area with light and heat. A window ledge in a sunny, warm location would be best.
      Once your seed has sprouted it's third leaf, it is time to plant the seed in your pot. It is important to understand that you should plant the seed in it's permanent container. You do not want to plant it temporarily and then dig it up and move it to a bigger container later. The plant will be sending out roots and tubers under the soil, and when you try to transplant the plant these will be broken and have a large chance of killing the plant! It is easier, and safer, to have your pot ready to go that you will grow your mature plant in for the year.
      If you have not already done so, while you are waiting for your seeds to sprout and be ready to plant, now is the time to get your pot. Lotuses need a pot with a wide mouth more than a deep pot! Lotuses need a pot with a wide mouth more than a deep pot! I repeated that sentence because it is important. Lotuses grow horizontal tubers that send up leaf shoots as they grow, The plant needs room for those shoots to grow up. I think the pot needs also to be round, so the growing tips can grow without being hindered in corners. This may be an "old wives' tale" but I do not take chances. I use round containers. The pot must also be big enough for a plant the size the lotus will grow to. If you do not know what lotus produced the seed, it is best to assume it will be a large growing lotus. If your lotus is a smaller growing lotus, being in a bigger pot will not hurt it. I suggest a pot that has an opening of 20-24 inches, minimum, with a depth of at least 12 inches. Although this is what I feel is best, a smaller pot does not guaranteed failure, nor a larger pot guarantee success.
      Soil should be a rich topsoil that does not contain peat moss, vermiculite or mulch, especially if you want to put the pot into your pond. This will float into your pond and cause a problem. If nothing else, it will be unattractive.
      the seeds should be gently planted, with the seed just under the soil, and the sprouts above the soil. there is no need to fertilize the plant at this time. Once the plant is established and growing, you can then fertilize the seedling. When fertilizing the plant, whether you add fertilizes at the time of planting or later, do not get the fertilizer too close to the roots of the plant or the seed. It will burn the young plant up. The roots of the plant will grow to the fertilizer once they become established in the soil and begin growing throughout the pot. Once the plant puts up aerial pads, fertilize monthly.
      Have fun and good luck! Above all else, happy "pond"ering!
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    12. #172
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      As I looked into the hardy lily tubs today, including the H X T tubs, I thought about how much different they will look in a few weeks. today I am just hoping to find new growth, as evidenced by the first red leaf. I was excited to find that each of the H X T pots clearly showed a new leaf pad, with the exception of one pot. I believe that it will also put up a pad in a day or two, but until then I am a little anxious. The hardy lilies are putting up leaves as well.
      Speaking of anxiety, I am also a little concerned over the lack of seeing my salamander, which I named Sullie, the last two days. His tank is only a five gallon aquarium with gravel in the bottom and a castle in it. The castle takes up most of the aquarium. For tank mates he has a mosquito fish (I mentioned this female before and she continues to get bigger) and 4 juvenile sunset wag platys. The tank has a lot of algae in it, so it is not really clear, but I cannot see Sullie and when I go to feed him, he can't be fed. I have taken the castle out to look for him, thinking he might be under it but have not seen him. there are little "windows" in the castle that he can go into it so I guess he is hiding in the top of the castle. I always put the castle back in within a minute, so if he s in the castle he will be okay. I just worry about his not eating. I will try again tomorrow!
      I am trying to push plants because the weather the last few weeks has had several nights when the temperatures were really cold, setting the plant growth back somewhat. When the temperatures are like today, well into the 70's, people start getting the fever and are wanting plants. The results are my trying to accelerate the plant growth by moving plants into the greenhouse where they will be warmer, and to hit them with fertilizer. Hoping this works!
      Its almost spring, so happy "pond"ering!
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    13. #173
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      Lots happening but not much happening. That is what I have pondered about today. I seem to be very busy, but nothing very interesting. It is the first day of spring, but we are going down into the 30s tonight with a chance of snow. Warm weather is not going to happen for a few more days.
      Plants are starting to put on their spring garb. They are sprouting, putting up new leaves, turning a different color green, or just plain looking happy! Some of the marginal plants are having pups show up, others are showing signs of promise. Things are changing almost daily!
      My thoughts today were about posting here. What could I post that would provide help or insight to the reader as they are getting ready to "pond." Well, the answer came to me while I was reading emails. I order some new varieties of plants each year from wholesale companies. I have ordered some this year also. I received an email from the company today which caused me to think of this "tip."
      Many of you order plants that are shipped by a shipping company that arrive in a few days, just as I have. When the plant/s come in, you plant them and put them in your pond. That is what you are supposed to do. My tip or advice is this, however. Many readers do not know that they should expect "transplant shock" when the plants come in.
      Transplant shock is the trauma caused when the plant is dug up, the soil is removed and then the plant is shipped to you, arriving in a few days. The plant may have been a large, healthy, beautiful plant when selected, but the shipping process is rough on them. Almost ever lily I receive will have their leaves start turning color, and die in a matter of just a few days. New pads will be put on, but for a few weeks the plant will be looking rough. Despite their best attempts, this is a frequent occurrence. Be aware of this when ordering. Cold weather as well as very hot weather also makes it rough on the plant. The plant is still healthy, but may not look its best for few weeks. Give it time to recover!
      happy "pond"ering!
      Last edited by matherfish; 03-20-2018 at 11:36 PM.
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    14. #174
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      The last few days have had even colder nights. Not good news for our looking forward to springs arrival. But the forecast for the next 10 does not include any freezing nights or snow so hopefully we are past winter, finally. it has been up and down weather all month!

      The first iris bloom of the year appeared yesterday. It is the beautiful L. Colce! What a heart warming sight on such a cold day! another iris will be opening today or tomorrow so I will have another photo of it on my next post.

      I know this is late in the winter, and we are all tired of it. I was pondering that yesterday as once again I was building fires in the stoves in the greenhouse. It is really tempting to justify not taking precautions against the cold for your ponds and plants. Some have uncovered their pond's winter covering, some have brought plants out of their garages, houses or cold frames and do not want to have to drag them back in. it is still needed. You do not want to have taken precautions all winter only to lose them at the onset of spring. Plants have gone through winter's fluctuating temperatures so may be a little vulnerable at this time, so no use in giving them more to endure than necessary.

      Happy "pond"ering!
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      Are you scanning through catalogs and searching the internet to find new ideas for your pond this year? Have you found things that you imagine in your pond and dream of what it might look like? Somehow, if you are like me, we always manage to visualize it looking great! One of the reasons might be that we also visualize all of our current pond being in great condition. Now start pondering your current pond. What do you need to do to get it in spring shape?
      Now is the time to clean out any leaves or other things that may have blown into the pond over the winter. You can net out most of the stuff using a pool net or fishing net. You do not have to get into the water, which may still be cold, but try and get as much out as possible. Also, trim away any dead leaves from your plants.
      You might also want to prepare to keep the algae growth down. Check your UV light, or add whatever chemicals you might want to help keep the algae from flourishing once the water starts to warm up.
      Now is also a good time to fertilize your plants. Put the fertilizer in the pot so that when the roots start growing they will reach the fertilizer, but not so close as to burn the plant. Thinking of fertilizing the plant will also remind you to order or buy whatever fertilizer you plan on using.
      Once you have your pond ready to go, your new purchases will make your dreams some closer to being true!
      Happy "pond"ering!
      Here is the pic of the Ann Chowning iris, blooming yesterday!
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      Pondering lotuses today. Those huge leafed giants of the pond thrill us with the first spikes in the spring. Then as pads float upon the water's surface, we wait anxiously for the first aerial pad. To see the pads standing tall within the pond is exhilarating, but we still look down into the water to see if a spear shaped spike can be seen. We await the first bud and then it's opening bloom. Triumph fills our hearts, and our hearts seem to pound harder. What a joy to behold!
      For those who are starting their lotus seeds this week, I wish you great success. You have started on an exciting journey.
      The pond season still is a month or two away for many, while others are already wading into their ponds, cleaning and enhancing. Welcome spring!
      Happy ponding, and "pond"ering!
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      Monday and Tuesday were busily spent getting plants harvested for shipping. Strange, but this year it seems that many are ordering plants earlier than in past years. Thinking of this, I started asking myself, "why?"
      This year has been harder than the last few winters. We had several weeks where the ice on the pond did not melt so plants were under ice for longer than usual. This seems to have cost me several lotuses. We did not have as cold of temps as we have had in the last few years, but there has not been periods of time where we were below freezing for more than a few days at a time. Maybe that is why people are ordering plants earlier. They are ready for winter to be gone, and are anxious for spring. Knowing this, I have warned them of possibly more cold weather and that they have to be ready to move the plants to safety should that be predicted.
      The next 10 days are expected to be more "spring-like" so that may also be a reason for orders. No more nights in the lower 30s, and I hope that continues to hold. We have removed the "cold frame" plastic from the plants here so I guess I also am trusting it to be spring weather from now until summer.
      I went into the tropical lily tuber buckets also to locate tubers to ship to a customer in a warmer climate. I found the few I wanted, which had started sprouting, but there were not many sprouted as yet. It will not be long before there will be sprouts on many of them. Evidently the tubers are starting to believe spring has arrived at last.
      Happy "pond"ering may be changing to Happy "pond"ing soon!
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      Today's thoughts are again on being spring ready. I have given my thoughts in the past concerning some of these things, but will remind everyone of them in a concise manner over the next few posts.
      The first thing I want to mention is the answer to the question, "What size pot should I use to pot up my ___ plant?" I will not go into lotuses again since I just answered that question about a week or two ago. I will address other plants however.
      First, I will speak to the planting of tropical lilies.
      Tropical lily tubers do not get long like hardy lilies, but instead make tubers that are more egg-shaped growing from the size of a peanut to just over the size of an extra large egg. Because of this, they can be grown in smaller pots than hardy lily. However, their need for nutrients is just as great, because they also produce large plants, often larger than hardy lilies, and produce blooms. This means that even though they can be put into smaller containers, they do need to fertilized regularly.
      I plant my tropical lilies in 1 gallon containers. I use pots with holes because they are easier and cheaper to get. You can usually get these for free from landscapers who have emptied the pots when planting out flowerbeds. To keep the soil from washing out as easily, I put a plastic grocery bag in the bottom of the pot before adding the soil. The holes also allow the soil to "breathe" easier. I have used pots without holes but I have to buy them, and I have found the pots with holes work as well as solid pots if the bag is placed in the bottom.
      A well known ponder has successfully grown his tropical lilies in 'Dixie" cups, which shows the flexibility of what size pot to use. I tried this, but my biggest problem with it was the cups fell over so easily, spilling the soil out into the pond. I then tried 22 oz. plastic tumblers, which worked better because they had a bigger bottom and were not as top heavy. This worked well, but they had to be bought, were more expensive than Dixie cups , and were not easy to put fertilizer tablets in the tumblers once the plants were growing well.
      These are my thoughts, as I am "pond:ering, on pots for tropical lilies.
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      Spring is rolling in slowly, and it is drenched! We have had lots of rain, and April has just begun. But the signs of spring arriving has brightened the dreary rainy days, so my thoughts continue to be warm!
      Yesterday's Easter egg hunt for the grandkids was filled with smiles as also were the smiles for the spider lily blooms! I really enjoy seeing these beautiful milk white beauties each spring!
      Today we cleaned out the bog pond, and found lots of bullfrog tadpoles, as well as many eastern spotted salamanders. After removing the hardy water lily pots, we began netting out the leaves in the pond and then "hunted" through the wet leaves for tadpoles and salamanders. After they were separated, the leaves were thrown in the trash, and the animals and the plants were returned to the pond!
      As the pots of hardy lilies sat around the pond, I thought about this post and the continuation of the thoughts of what plants to use to pot up hardy lilies. What I was looking at was one gallon pots with hardy lilies starting to sprout. I point out that these are one gallon pots, but that is not what I recommend that you use for your plants. I recommend at least a three gallon pot, maybe even a 5 gallon pot.
      The lilies in this pond were divisions divided last fall, and were potted up to be sold this spring. I am not expecting these to be grown in these pots for the year. I point this out because many times you may see plants at a nursery or plant store which are in undersized pots. These are temporary homes, not long term. You need to repot them. I expect my plants to be shipped, which means they will be dug up, and packaged, shipped and repotted. They do not need the larger pot.
      Plants in your pond however will need the room and nutrients to grow. The hardy lily rhizome grows horizontally in the pot so it needs the surface room to grow, unlike a tropical lily. It is also important that you plant the rhizome at the top of the pot and not deep in the soil, preferably with the top of the rhizome out of the soil. It is best to place the "cut" end of the rhizome at the edge of the pot, with the "crown" end heading towards the center of the pot as this is the direction that the rhizome will grow, so you are giving the plant the maximum growing area.
      Again, these pots can have holes in the bottom and I suggest using the plastic bags to help hold the soil in, but if you would prefer, you can use pots that do not have holes. Just use pots which are wide at the top for extra surface room.
      Let's all just go "AHHH" and ponder spring!
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      Today was a busy day going through 5 gallon buckets of tropical water lily tubers. We sorted through the bags looking for tubers that have started sprouting and separating them by putting them in different bags. These tubers will be placed in greenhouse ponds where they will be in the sun and posted for sale. It is a slow process but a necessary one.
      While we were doing this, I was thinking about how many varieties of tropical lilies there are and then think about that they are only part of the group of water lilies. I think about the large number of varieties that I have, and then realize there are many more that I do not have. I have people ask me about a lily and it is interesting how often it is one that I do not have. I see pics on KP and Facebook of lilies that I do not have, and find myself dreaming of acquiring even more.
      Today we also sprayed the water hyacinths and water lettuce with a liquid fertilizer. These plants are not rooted so the roots must get their nutrients from the water. If you have a strong filtration system, and use a uv light, water hyacinths and water lettuce will "starve" to death. If you do not have fish in the pond, and have a strong filtration system and uv light, they will starve even faster. We sprayed our plants not because of filtration or a uv light, but because we wanted to give the "boost" for the spring that the fertilizer gives them.
      If your water hyacinths, or water lettuce are not doing well because of starvation, the best answer is to move the plants into buckets or pots where you can put liquid fertilizer into the water without it being in your pond. Make sure you do not have insects on your plants as well when you put them into the liquid fertilizer by examining them carefully.
      Happy "pond"ering!
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